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91Days – 05

「血は血を呼ぶ」 (Chi wa Chi o Yobu)
“Blood Will Have Blood”

That’s one nice lookin’ mountain.

This week, 91Days continued to impress by making considerable yet subtle strides in developing its characters.

First and foremost is our starring man, Avilio. Last week, the show made efforts in substantiating his growing fondness and friendship with Nero, and it looks to have paid off. Aside from displaying some genuine camaraderie and endearment around Nero, he actually puts his neck on the line for the guy. He takes the risk of convening with proven madman Fango, in hopes of saving an ally’s life. Avilio explains to Corteo that it’s all just a hoax in order to further infiltrate the trust of his enemy, but there’s good reason to believe that there’s more to it than mere espionage. Again, aside from his seemingly authentic displays of friendship with Nero, one has to wonder if Avilio would really cement any further trust by saving Tigre’s life, especially when Nero already confides his absolute trust in Avilio.

Nero’s motives become further questionable when put in context with Nero’s earlier offer. You know, when he asks him to join the freakin’ family. Avilio’s subsequent response of silence, I think implies many things. Even though this is the question he’s probably wanted to be asked since the beginnings of his revenge scheme, its presence now elicits several different responses. If this was the Avilio from like two episodes ago, he’d probably be ecstatic—at the prospect of taking that large pear towards his revenge. However, after having bonded with hi supposed target, he now meets the offer with ambivalence. He’s torn between accepting the offer as he would’ve before—or perhaps more genuinely as a legitimate friend and member. Maybe he intends to decline, feeling guilty at having manipulated someone he now sees as a real brother. This is of course mere speculation, but this really is a case where silence speaks a whole lot more than words.

I also love what the episode did with Fango as a character. Previously the guy couldn’t be characterized as anything more than a crazy man—an insane loon who thinks of nothing more than spilt blood and masochistic pleasures. However, for really the very first time, he displays rationale and calculative thought. This blends him better into the world and its characters, as well as provide a lot more intrigue and depth to him. Now that we realize there’s a lot more to him than he’s been letting on, who knows what else he’s hiding in his head. I’m sensing a tremendous shift in character from here on out, as Fango likely takes a decidedly different role than before. Perhaps he will more play the ally than the opposing force? Or will be continue to play the wildcard? What lies in store for our cast as they enter his realm? All questions that sustain the intrigue and suspense the show has done so well with maintaining.

One thing that still kind of bothers me though is Corteo’s character. From the beginning, not much was said about why he seemed so willing to follow Avilio on his quest, even when he’s expressed not only his disapproval of it, but also his dislike of the mafia. Furthermore, didn’t Avilio get out of town when they were kids? Was their friendship so strong that it carried over however many years later, to the point where Corteo would willingly drop his life to come along on this revenge scheme? Even just from what we’ve seen, there’s very little indication of a strong, genuine friendship between the two. They hardly ever even interact—Corteo more often times than not serves as a vessel for Avilio to tell the audience what’s on his mind. There’s not much to his character beyond that. This episode does something to finally flesh out his character, as his new habit signifies how wearied he’s become by all this. However, it’s not enough to make up for some hitherto vapid characterization. Hopefully this will be amended in due time.

Overall though, an episode which skillfully manages to powerfully develop its characters, but not so much as to distract from the momentum of the plot.

Also, some gorgeous gorgeous vistas.

August 6, 2016 at 11:54 am
4 comments »
  • August 6, 2016 at 12:33 pmJuri

    Gotta give props to Jigs for posting it so fast, i wish ReZero was posted this fast but it takes like 4 days to show up here.

  • August 6, 2016 at 11:52 pmdaikama

    Pretty good episode. Even if the plot “twists” were not entirely unexpected they still added something to the mix. Situation’s certainly more complicated for Alvio’s revenge plan. Fango on the outs with the Orco family is no surprise at all. Frankly, kind of surprised he lasted as long as he did with his fork stabbing ways. My suspicions about the G-family trying to fully take over the V-family were confirmed, but I was surprised how fast Nero’s little brother, Frate, rolled over on that. Kid (how old is he?) certainly seems cowed by G-family & Ronaldo. Sure it’s practical in one sense, but more than that IMO. I mean, he does just toss his brother to the wolves without much apparent consternation (nice call out by dad on that). Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a move to take out dad, the V-family don. Frate would make a fine puppet don.

    As for Fango, he’s certainly not as wild-eyed crazy as before. I wouldn’t call it “calculative”, but yeah, definitely more rationale this time around. While a welcome change, I have to wonder why the over-the-top presentation in the first place. He could be a bit of a loose cannon, doesn’t follow orders enough, or simply just too ambitious for his own good and thus booted out of the Orco family without all that other stuff. Frankly, if the show makes him too smart/calculating IMO that would be too much of a jarring shift from his earlier persona (and make me question even more why his character was like that early on). At any rate, better than mad-dog rabid for sure.

    Honestly, I’m not seeing the same degree of “bromace”/brotherhood (i.e. Alvio sees Nero as a “real brother”) as suggested in the review. Some change in outlook? Sure, but matter of degree. To me Alvio still seems quite dedicated to his revenge to the point of stating it’s his reason for living. Now it’s very possible that by the end there’s some bond which causes Alvio to hesitate or even not kill Nero, but ain’t there yet IMO. As for Nero’s offer for Alvio to join the family, I thought that was fast (perhaps why Alvio looked so surprised), but Alvio did help Nero stay alive = plausible enough.

    Corteo’s motivations could be more clearly delineated, but I don’t have a problem with him myself. He still strikes me as someone who kind of just goes along with things (meek guy, follower rather than leader), and ended up in an unexpected situation which is not easy to exit on his own. Also, if one can see “real brotherhood” between Alvio & Nero in such a short period of time (not to mention that Nero, young or not, was involved in slaughtering Alvio’s family – including his real little brother), I think it’s far easier to see some brotherhood relationship between Corteo & Alvio even if the two were separated for years. They did seem quite close growing up.

    Overall a pretty good episode, and IMO better than the last two.

    • August 7, 2016 at 4:53 amboingman

      Agree. Alvio’s non-response was just Alvio being Alvio.
      From Alvio’s point of view, Nero’s father has to die. And pretty sure he will.
      Now it’s possible that Nero will make it out alive. While he was part of the group, he at least didn’t kill any of Alvio’s family (although he tried, unless he purposely missed).

  • August 19, 2016 at 1:37 pmKF

    This is an extremely underated anime.